Take a coastal walk, meet blue crabs, starfish and corals in Mumbai this weekend
When Pradip Patade, 50, left his human resources job seven years ago, we had more walks by the seashore. Patade, a self-taught marine enthusiast, had already explored the shores of Mumbai for 25 years at the time. “My walks have included vibrant research corals, colorful crabs and varieties of sea slugs that I did not know existed, my work became too common,” he said with a laugh.
In his enthusiasm for being close to the coast, Patade taught kayaking, windsurfing, rowboat and dragon boat racing to a water sports company. “I saw the exquisite sea creatures of the coast of Nariman Point, Girgaum Chowpatty, Walkeshwar and Napean on the way to the sea and was able to document two rare species: the fan of orange sea (gorgonias fan) and sea spiers belonging to the family of Sea horses, “said Patade.
In April, Patade and marine biologist Abhishek Jamalabad, 26, and Siddharth Chakravarty, 34, an independent researcher in industrial fisheries, launched the Facebook page of marine life in Mumbai. This is a community for those who share their passion for marine life. Monthly walks are also organized along the city’s coastline and participants are encouraged to contribute their images on the site to build a repository of coastal biodiversity in Mumbai.
INaturewatch Foundation, a charity fund based in the city, also organizing a walk along the coast on Sunday, with Patade who heads the team. Registration is open, but if you prefer to go on an exploration mission and are not sure where to start, here are some ways to get started.
Weather and tide do not wait for one, take a walk at low tide, because this is where the intertidal zone opens and sea creatures wash on the shore.
Being Sherlock: Rocky fall, all interesting creatures literally live below them. “We found three types of corners and corners of crab and shrimp and looking under the stones,” Chakravarty said.
Crab Hunting: Among the most common but interesting sea creatures, there are crabs, and the Mumbai coast has about 40 varieties of them. Recover colored decorative crab or blue swimmer.
Remove it if you thought slugs are not nice, you have not seen the nudibranque. “They are usually found in rocky outcrops where there is a discovery of coarse coral. We find a Girgaum Chowpatty home,” said Chakravarty.
Do not pierce your foot: Wear tight shoes with a good grip, as you are likely to go in slippers with mollusks and barnacles.
Tightened Sunscreen: Sunscreen is good for you, but not for marine life. “Most sunscreens leave an oily film when you put your hand in rock pools that can affect marine life there, to make sure you do not apply beyond your elbows,” says Chakravarty.